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New faculty with David Cihak & Steve McCallum

CEHHS Welcomes New Faculty, Fall 2019

Not pictured:  Haley Griffiths & Aida Miles

Child and Family Studies

Lori CaudleLori Caudle is an assistant professor in the Department of Child and Family Studies, and primarily teaches courses in the early childhood education (PreK-3) program. In 2010, she received her PhD in child and Family Studies from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Lori began her academic career as an assistant professor at Western Carolina University (WCU) in the Birth-Kindergarten Program, where she obtained promotion and tenure in 2016. In 2015, she received the Taft Botner Award for Superior Teaching from the College of Education and Allied Professions at WCU. She has taught a range of early childhood methods courses, along with topics in assessment and action research. Her teaching and research interests include flexible professional development frameworks for learning that support the early childhood workforce through ongoing partnerships. Within these frameworks, Lori investigates how learning communities, peer feedback protocols, and digital tools impact beliefs and practices of pre/in-service early childhood teachers.


Aida MilesAida Miles is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition.  In this role, Miles will assist with the design and implementation of an innovative graduate program in clinical nutrition which combines undergraduate, graduate, and experiential learning in a 5-year MS degree program for dietetic students.  Miles is originally from Guatemala and has had a successful career as a dietitian and educator in Guatemala and the United States.  Most recently Miles was the director of a graduate coordinated program at the University of Minnesota.  She received her BS in nutrition from Whittier College in California, an MS of Medical Science from Emory University in Georgia, and her PhD in Higher Education from Bethel University, Minnesota.

Miles specializes in pediatric nutrition, particularly working with children with disabilities, feeding disorders, autism spectrum disorder, and childhood obesity.  Miles has taught several courses, including Child and Adolescent Nutrition, Global Nutrition, Food Politics, and Cultural Food Practices in the U.S.  She is looking forward to an exciting new career at UT!

Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies

Haley GriffithsHaley Griffiths is a an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies.  She completed her BS in Education in Recreation and Leisure Studies and her MS in Recreation and Leisure Studies, both at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  She completed her PhD at Clemson University in May, 2019, majoring in Therapeutic Recreation.  Prior to coming to the university, Griffiths’ experience included working as a recreational therapist at both the Morgan County Correctional Complex in Wartburg, TN and at Bradford Health Services in Warrior, Alabama.  She taught recreation and sport management classes at the university as an adjunct professor after completing her MS and while pursuing  her PhD.

Griffiths is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) and a member of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association.  She enjoys spending time with her dog, Chief, running, hiking, camping and anything else outdoors. She is an active member in the Tennessee Army National Guard where she serves as a medevac pilot and is currently deployed to Kosovo. She will return to her teaching position in February, 2020.

Jessica KutzJessica Kutz is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She grew up in Pennsylvania and attended The Pennsylvania State University for her BS in Kinesiology and PhD in Kinesiology (focus: Exercise Physiology). Following the completion on her PhD, she was an assistant professor at Shenandoah University, a small private school in Virginia, before joining the KRSS department at UT.

Her research interests have evolved since her days at The Pennsylvania State University where she studied vascular physiology to current interests in the use of virtual reality technology to enhance the indoor exercise experience as well as the effective use of technology in teaching. She has published her research in venues such as Hypertension, American Journal of Physiology Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, and The Journal of Physiology.  Her primary role in the department of KRSS will be teaching Kinesiology 414: Fitness Testing and Exercise Prescription and Kinesiology 480: Physiology of Exercise. She was the 2019 recipient of the Wolters Kluwer Innovation in Teaching award from the American College of Sports Medicine.

Ravchel TatarskiRachel Tatarski is a clinical instructor in the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies where she teaches Kinesiology 332: Applied Anatomy and Kinesiology 422: Biomechanics of Human Movement.

Originally from North Carolina, Tatarski earned her BS in Athletic Training from Campbell University and spent a couple of years working in a Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy clinic. She earned her MS in Exercise and Sports Science from East Carolina University. Her master’s thesis focused on the effects of a strength training program on ankle biomechanics during walking in healthy older adults. She is currently wrapping up her PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences from The Ohio State University. Her dissertation work studies the accuracy and reliability of musculoskeletal ultrasound as a diagnostic tool for high ankle sprains and how that particular injury affects movement and function. As such, her research interests focus on an interdisciplinary approach to study the impacts injury has on movement and function, interventions that can improve movement and function, and innovative ways to integrate technology to diagnose injury and improve patient outcomes after injury.

Tatarski’s philosophy of teaching integrates her clinical, biomechanical, and pedagogical education and experience. She always seeks to include real-world examples in class and make the material as fun and interactive as possible.

Tatarski is an active member in the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the American Society of Biomechanics. She won the Grant-in-Aid award from the American Society of Biomechanics and the Alumni Grant for Graduate Research and Scholarship from Ohio State for her dissertation work. She is also a reviewer for the Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, the Journal of Applied Biomechanics, and Clinical Biomechanics.

Kelly WallaceKelly Wallace is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education working with the Urban Multicultural Elementary Education cohort.  From nearby Maryville, Tennessee, Wallace earned her PhD in Teacher Education, MS in English Education, and BS in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Wallace spent 11 years teaching English, Theatre Arts, and ACT Preparatory courses in two surrounding counties where she began noticing the inequities that students of color face in public schools.  Her research interests currently include the literacy practices of diverse students, implementing diverse curricula in schools, and deconstructing teacher Whiteness in the classroom in which her teaching practices also largely center around.

Residing in Maryville with her son, Carter, and her two dogs, Nola and Claire, she spends most of her off-time reading, playing with her human and doggy children, finding water to play in, and cheering on the Vols.

Sherry JaniewiczSherry Jankiewicz is a clinical assistant professor of art education in the Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education.  She teaches undergraduate courses for the art education minor, graduate level courses in the art education masters and post-bacc programs, and is the supervisor for all students completing their internship.  Sherry earned her Masters in Fine Arts at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon, specializing in print media in 2018.  She is a former elementary and middle school art teacher with 13 years of teaching experience in Howard County, Maryland, where she served on the county’s leadership team and curriculum writing teams.

Sherry is interested in using art education practices to enhance and enrich people on a holistic level.  She believes that art empowers an individual, and can fuel community engagement for positive change and growth.  She is an artist and her work explores the mind’s ability to adapt and accept change, noting that neurologically the mind’s instability in structure is also its source for our emotional stability.  She is the designer of a public art piece called “Natural Connections” in Auburn, WA, and has exhibited recently in Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, and Minneapolis, MN.

Kristin SecoraKristen Secora is an assistant professor in the Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She received her BS from Texas Christian University in Neuroscience and her PhD from San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego in Language and Communicative Disorders. She is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) with her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She worked as an speech-language pathologist in a public elementary school for three years before joining the faculty at UT.

Secora’s research interests focus on developing tools for fostering and assessing language development for deaf and hard of hearing children, particularly those who use American Sign Language. She is specifically interested in Theory of Mind and perspective-taking abilities and their relation to language.

Allison VarnesAllison Varnes is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education. She earned her PhD in Education with a specialization in English education, her MS in Teacher Education with a concentration in special education, and her BA in English, all from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Prior to working in higher education, Varnes was a high school special education teacher for eight years.

Varnes has publications in Study and Scrutiny: Research on Young Adult Literature, English Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and Knowledge Quest. Her research interests include the effects of education policy reform on experienced teachers, as well as children’s motivation to read. Her dissertation research examined the impact of education policy reform on experienced English teachers in a rural high school.

Varnes is the author of the middle-grade novel Property of the Rebel Librarian (2018) and a second novel to be released in 2021, both published by Random House Children’s Books.